There's wisdom everywhere.
The experiences of parents, aunts & uncles, grandparents, and other older relatives — and the experiences of clerks, baristas, postal workers, and other adults in the community — are rich food for educational reflection.
But schools barely tap them.
Our basic plan:
Make meaningful intergenerational conversations frequent and low-friction.
Assign students questions to ask their relatives (and other adults in their lives) — simple questions & difficult questions, theoretical questions & personal ones.
Help students cultivate mentoring relationships with people in the community.
Empower families to have regular shared mealtimes, and to have rich dinner table conversations.
Bring adults into the classroom to share their stories, and answer student questions.
Students who aren't "islands unto themselves", but part of an intergenerational network of people striving to live well.
If you walk into a classroom, you might see:
Students sharing the responses their family members gave to a philosophical question that bubbled up from yesterday's classroom reading of Winnie the Pooh.
A designated student welcoming a local plumber at the front door of the school, asking him if he'd like a mug of tea.
A student talking about the advice her mentor gave about the social entrepreneurship her team is starting up.
Students discussing which particular dinner table questions might be best paired with the week's suggested family dinner menu.
(This idea is currently in beta! If you've thoughts on how to make it better, please shoot an e-mail to Brandon at email@example.com.)
People in the Neighborhood
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